Storage Facility Opens Without Employees

Full Basement Self Storage Opens Without Employees

Customers of the new Full Basement Self Storage in Jackson, Georgia may be surprised to find it lacking something you’d expect at a self-storage facility: employees.

Rather than having a person onsite to rent units, new customers go online or call to reserve a space. After completing the reservation, tenants are provided the combination to their unit.

“For those that remember the old Jackson Mini Storage, we made a lot of improvements, including new roofs, a new gate controller system, some new doors and tons of cameras and technology updates,” said new owner, Daryl Dunnahoo, via JacksonProgress-Argus.com. “We utilize many forms of digital surveillance to keep track of who comes and goes, and when.”

Tenants are even able to view the facility’s gate-camera feed from their smartphones, should they want to.

According to Dunnahoo, the process has worked well at his facility in Dahlonega and he expects the same in Jackson. If any problems arise, human customer service is available.

“You can talk to a real person,” he said via JacksonProgress-Argus.com. “Our phones are answered 24-7 and staff can help you set up an account during business hours Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.”

Full Basement Self Storage isn’t the first to make a foray into employee-free facilities. Automated Self-Storage Systems in Florida considers itself the pioneer of fully automated self-storage, with its RovoVault in Fort Lauderdale, and its Coconut Creek location. The company teamed up with Westfalia Technologies to develop a secure, user friendly, and convenient system. What they got was a system that also increased the amount of rentable space and cut operating costs in half.

The operators of Full Basement held a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the local Chamber of Commerce on March 14 to officially open the facility.

Full Basement Self Storage uses Easy Storage Solutions and their variety of business services offered to help make their facility and their websites more successful. Full Basement currently uses their call answering service, Call Advantage, which has full access to help renters pay online and answer any questions they may have about the facility. Full Basement also utilizes Easy Storage’s SEO & Online Marketing service, Rize Marketing. That service focuses on building a high ranking for their website on Google Search Results and also aids in getting more customers to see the site in a variety of ways. Easy Storage Solutions has everything to make your storage facility successful, all under one roof. Full Basement Self Storage is proof of that!

Read article at: http://blog.extraspace.com/news/full-basement-self-storage-opens-without-employees/#sthash.iIBDBoNW.dpuf Written by – Tony Gonzalez Mar 18 2016

Does Your Self Storage Facility Need A Call Center?

If you’re a self-storage owner who hasn’t yet used a call center, you may be wondering whether you need one. Even if you know you need one, you may be wondering why you’d pay for one. There are short and long answers to these questions.

The short answer is, if you have a self-storage business, you need a call center. You’ll have to think about the best way to structure it for your specific needs, but you should have one. Potential renters and current customers use the phone. You can’t handle all the calls yourself, and neither can your staff, so you really have no choice. All of the industry’s top operators use a call center of some kind, even if they use differing business models or setups. Why would you do otherwise? These are the most successful companies in the business!

Now for the long answer, which will help you better understand why a call center is necessary and how it enhances your self-storage operation. Let’s start by looking at what a provider should be able to do for you.

Choosing A Partner

Although there isn’t really a one-size-fits-all setup, here are seven key items a call center should be able to accomplish on your company’s behalf:

  • Reduce the number of missed rental inquiries
  • Support your online sales efforts with live sales people
  • Increase the conversion rate of leads to rentals
  • Establish a process for phone payments
  • Establish a protocol for customer-service issues and questions
  • Achieve better sales and customer-service proficiency
  • Create a better understanding of your business and customers and how the two interact

When choosing a provider, you first must decide if you want the call center to take all of your calls, just your rental inquires, just phone payments, or any after-hours or rollover calls. Next, interview the vendors who provide call-center services and related software. You might want to manage the software yourself and just have the agents managed by a vendor, or you might want the vendor to manage it all. There are many ways to customize your relationship with a call center, so ask about best practices for self-storage operations of your size or owners with similar needs.

Customer Acquisition

A self-storage customer has an average lifetime value of somewhere between $500 and $2,500, depending on your market, customer base, rental rates and so on. Let’s assume for a moment that each new customer is worth $500 to your business. What would you spend to get one, two or three extra new customers per month? Would you pay $200 to make $500? Would you pay $500 to make $1,500?

If I could give you $200 and you would give me back $500, I’d borrow as much money as I could and give you as many $200 checks as I could write. If I could give you $500 and you’d give me $1,500, I’d want to do this all day long every day of the month.

Customer Expectations

Today’s consumers expect a level of customer service that can only be accomplished by making sure your phones are answered from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. in most markets. You can’t afford to have your own staff working these hours. When you use a call center, you can have coverage for these hours at a tiny fraction of the cost of internal employees because you’re sharing the sales reps with other call-center clients.

Today’s shoppers want to make a purchase decision “now.” When the thought strikes and they decide to buy something, they really want to make a purchase. If you’re not available for them to buy from you, they’ll buy from someone else or get distracted by a desire to purchase something different. Once that occurs, the money originally earmarked for you is gone. Why on earth would you be unavailable to a potential customer when he wants to rent a unit from you?

Your existing tenants also expect a level of customer care that can only be delivered if you answer the phone when they call. If you can’t answer the phone, they feel insulted and frustrated. They tend to stop doing business with those who insult and frustrate them. The fact is it’s much less expensive to keep a current tenant happy and ensure he stays another few months than it is to replace him with a new customer. Why would you think it’s OK to drive away current customers?

Call Volume

Finally, most self-storage operators can’t handle their call volume properly, even at smaller or slower sites with full-time staff, because demand comes in waves. You have to set up your system to handle the biggest waves of call volume when they come. Your current situation probably forces you to miss important phone calls during peak volume times. If a new customer is worth $500 to you, why would you want to miss even one call?

The simple fact is you need a call center. Talk to the vendors in the industry about their services. Ask other operators how they structured their call-center arrangements. Then go make it happen. In the time you took to read this, you probably lost $500 from a missed phone call.

Source:  Jordheim, Tron. “Does Your Self-Storage Business Need a Call Center.” Does Your Self-Storage Business Need a Call Center. Inside Self Storage. Web. 24 Mar. 2016.